Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (CARES/CRRSAA Acts)

  • Updated April 22, 2022

    Description: On March 27, 2020 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. The CARES Act provides higher education emergency relief funding to two - and four-year institutions to assist students who are experiencing financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding may be used to assist with course materials, technology, housing, food, health care, child care, and other related expenses. 

    In May 2020, BCCC received funding from the US Department of Education, through the CARES Act, in the amount of $1,438,078 to be distributed to students based on the eligibility requirements (for details, see Title IV eligibility Basic Eligibility requirements). At a minimum, eligibility is characterized by the submission of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to BCCC. Under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, and following the review of student eligibility, BCCC disbursed funds to 2,074 students for Spring 2020. Checks for 46 students were not cashed and the student contact information was not current.   Efforts to locate these students were not successful and the funds were returned and was reissued for other awards.

    In January 2021, BCCC received additional funding in the amount of $1,438,078 from the US Department of Education through The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) as authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA).  The CRRSAA Public Law 116-260 was signed into law on December 27, 2020.  

    In May, 2021, BCCC received additional funding in the amount of $5,866,822 from the US Department of Education through The American Rescue Plan of 2021.  The American Rescue Plan of 2021 Public Law 117-2 was signed into law on March 11, 2021.

    The awarding of the Grant started on June 16, 2020 and the criteria were as follows:

      • BCCC received a valid 2019-2020 FAFSA as of May 18, 2020;

      • Enrolled in an academic credit program for the spring 2020 semester;

      • Not enrolled exclusively in online courses as of March 13, 2020; and

      • Met Title IV Federal Financial Aid eligibility requirements.

    In total, BCCC disbursed $951,880 of the $1.4M in available CARES funds designated to students for spring 2020.  The funds returned that were reissued for other students amount to $19,820.

    The remaining CARES Act funding for emergency student grants was reserved for eligible students who were enrolled in the spring 2020 semester and/or were enrolled in the fall 2020 semester as of November 18, 2021. BCCC disbursed another $252,685 for fall 2020 and another $253,332 for spring 2021. BCCC distributed $1,079,000 in fall 2021, of which $80,250 was returned and will be available for future distributions.

    The College adopted the schedule below for distribution of funds:

      Fall 20  Spring 21 Fall 21
    Full-Time (12+ credits) $285.00 $353.74 $1000.00
    Three Quarter Time (9-11 credits)  $235.00 $303.75 $750.00
    Half-Time (6-8 credits) $185.00 $253.75 $500.00
    Less than Half-Time (1-5 credits) $135.00 $203.75 $250.00

    BCCC issued the fall 2020 and spring 2021 awards through Heartland. BCCC also issued the Spring 2020 awards through Heartland.  BCCC intends on distributing funds in Spring 2022 similar to the distribution used in Fall 2021. The CARES Act Funding awards were not applied by BCCC to or used to offset any charge, debt, tuition, fees, or other balance in a student account with BCCC.  Students have two ways of receiving awards:

    1) Direct deposit: Students currently enrolled in the direct deposit program with Heartland will have access to the funds in approximately three to four business days from the date of disbursement.

    2) Paper check: For students not enrolled for direct deposit with Heartland, Heartland will mail a check to the address on file with the College. Mailed checks should reach students within seven to ten business days. Students can verify their address via the student portal  Panther Portal

    Students can email studentaccounting@bccc.edu for further information.  

    Institutional COVID Relief Funding

    In June 2020, BCCC received funding from the Department of Education through the CARES Act, in the amount of $1,438,077 that were used by the institution to cover institutional costs and to provide additional assistance to students through technological hardware and supplies. BCCC provided free summer textbooks for 2020 to students and covered the shipping costs. The College will continue to provide free shipping of textbooks to students. In addition, the College will provide free books to students for the summer 2021 term and will cover the shipping costs as well.

    In January 2021, BCCC received funding from the Department of Education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II) in the amount of $5,138,057 to be used by the institution to cover institutional costs and provides supplemental funding to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus. Institutions have expanded flexibility in the use of supplemental Institutional Funds including defraying expenses, carrying out student support activities, and making additional financial aid grants to students.

    In May, 2021, BCCC received funding from the Department of Education through the American Rescue Plan in the amount of $5,670,232 to support the expenses and lose of revenues related to the pandemic and to provide student support.

    Predominantly Black Institution Funding (PBI)

    In August 2020, BCCC received funding from the Department of Education under Section 18004(a)(2) of the CARES Act, the amount of $191,554 to be used by the institution.  These funds may be used and were used for grants to students for any component of the student’s cost of attendance, including tuition, course materials and technology.  PBI funds may also be used to defray institutional expenses including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with the transition to distance education, faculty and staff training and payroll.

    In March 2021, BCCC received funding from the Department of Education through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II) in the amount of $363,318 to be used by the institution. These funds may be used to establish or strengthen programs in the following areas:

    • Science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM)
    • Health Education, Internationalization or globalization
    • Teacher preparation; or
    • Improving educational outcomes of African-American males

    Institutional Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funding

    In September 2020, BCCC received $754,357 for Federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funding.  These funds are provided for the purpose of providing workforce development courses and continuing professional education leading to government or industry-required certification or licensure, particularly to individuals impacts by the COVID-19 pandemic through loss of employment. 

    In February 2021, BCCC received $558,224 for Federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funding under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, 2021.  These funds are provided for the purpose of providing workforce development and continuing professional education leading to an industry recognized certificate, certification, or licensure.

    Detail spending by quarter for the Institutional COVID Relief  and PBI funds are reflected on the quarterly reports on the website.